Roomba 671 Review - A Basic Vacuum at a Reasonable Price

Roomba 671 Review – A Basic Vacuum at a Reasonable Price

The search has always been to find the robot vacuum that fits every category of want and need for ourselves, our homes and our families. The problem is, we all have a different idea of what “perfect” is. Some want more control; some want less. Some want a primary vacuum; some want a secondary.

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Roomba i7+ (normally $999)

Pros: Best suction, good for pets/long hair, logical navigation, self-emptying!

Cons: Expensive when not on sale.

This is the i7 plus the docking station that empties the vacuum's dust bin automatically. 

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Roomba i7 (regularly $699)

Pros: Same as the i7+ (but without the self emptying docking station)

Cons: Does not empty itself.

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Roomba 960 (normally $649)

Pros: Great suction, hair doesn't get stuck in brushless rollers, logical navigation.

Cons: Does not empty itself.

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Roomba e5 (regularly $379)

Pros: Brushless rollers good for pets and long hair.

Cons: Navigation is random (bump-then-turn style).

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Allow me to introduce you to the Roomba 671. This robot combines a lot of features from the top-tier robots and the price tag of the mid-tier robots to give you a well-rounded machine with great capabilities.

Is it the perfect robot for everyone? Hardly. Though, it is close. Many will find it is the perfect fit for them and their needs. Others may be left wanting a bit more. Which one are you? Let’s find out.

Who is the Roomba 671 for?

Mobile App

Voice Command

In short, everyone can find a reason to use the Roomba 671. Though some will find more use than others. You may find it a great fit if you:

  • Have mainly hard flooring and low pile carpet.
  • Don’t need HEPA quality filtration.
  • Want to have multiple methods of control and programming, including voice commands.
  • Need a simple to operate robot that just works.

Who is the Roomba 671 not for?

You will find that the Roomba 671 has a few features that are missing from other robots. These may be a deal breaker for you. You will belong in this group if you:

  • Want containment without a separate purchase.
  • Need a battery that will last over two hours to clean everything.
  • Have a lot of high pile carpeting that needs deep, constant cleaning.

Dimensions, Features and Options

Alright, let’s get into the robot a bit and find out what makes it run. Even if you are currently on the fence about the 671, knowing the details of the features that are causing you to pause may change your mind (or cement it further).

The Battery: Large, Mighty, Quickly Charged.

If you are a long time reader of my reviews and articles, then you know that I almost always start out explaining the battery. Let’s face it; it is one of the most important factors of robotics. Without a good power supply, you can have all the features you want but if it doesn’t last long enough to use them, what’s the point?

The Roomba 671 has a large 3000mAh lithium-ion battery that produces more than enough power to the motor, sensors and wheels. It even has enough to keep the wireless communications active, voice command module alert and still run the robot of over an hour.

The battery life expectancy is about 90 minutes, though, as you can probably guess, this isn’t very accurate. Unless you are using the robot in a lab during testing without a ton of obstacles and carefully planted dirt and debris, you won’t experience the full hour and a half.

What you will get is about 70 to 80 minutes of cleaning time, depending on your flooring types. In general, this is enough time to effectively clean about 1200 square feet of mixed flooring or 1400 square feet of hard flooring only.

When the battery falls below 10 percent, the 671 will stop the cleaning cycle and make its way back to the charging station. It will sit in the cradle and recharge all by itself. The recharge cycle lasts about two full hours.

Once the robot is fully charged it will remain on the charger until you send it out on a new cleaning cycle. It does not resume on its own and it won’t remember nor pick up where it left off.

However, if you notice your entire floor space isn’t being cleaned in one go, it will be completed in the second one as the robot will usually take a different path.

The Filter Leaves a bit to be Desired.

Filtration in a robot vacuum has two main functions. First, it must prevent the motor area from collecting dust and debris to help prevent overheating. Secondly, it needs to filter the exhaust air before returning it to the room.

A lot of people concentrate too much on the secondary factor and ignore the first. Filtration has become something of a selling point and that is why I am discussing it here.

You have probably heard of HEPA filtration. This is a certification for filters that tell you the filter collects particles down to 3 microns in size, which includes most, if not all, in-home allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

The Roomba 671 doesn’t have HEPA filtration. It used the first generation AreoForce filter, which collects particles down to about 5 microns on a good day. This is plenty small enough to keep the motor area clear and dust free.

It is not good enough to prevent some allergen particles from returning to your floors. And I know what you are thinking: But, hey, I have allergies and need that filtration.

You may indeed suffer from allergies, and you may want HEPA filtration. Like I said earlier, this is a major selling point for a lot of vacuums. Here is what I want you to consider though:

  • Vacuums don’t add allergens to the air or floor. Yes, they can stir them up, but its allergens already in your flooring.
  • Robotic vacuums are not designed to replace your standard, corded upright powerhouse vacuums. Because of the suction and power, your upright vacuum should be the one with the giant HEPA filter on it.
  • If you aren’t following the vacuum around breathing in the exhaust, you aren’t getting a lot of allergy-inducing particles in your nose, mouth and lungs.

So while HEPA filtration is good, it isn’t the end-all-be-all of robotic vacuums. They have a simple job: keep your floors presentable between regular, deep cleaning by your upright.

The Dual Combination Brush Rolls Clean All Floor Types

An underside view of Roomba 671 while it cleans up cereal bits.

How many of you out there have only one-floor type throughout your entire home? Okay, the three of you can leave. The other 7 billion or so, can stay.

We have hard flooring; we have carpeting, we have rugs, throws, door mats, etc. The point is we all have multiple floor types that need to be cleaned, and having a robot that can clean them all is important.

So what does this “all” entail? Well, for the Roomba 671 it means all hard flooring: vinyl, laminate, tile, hardwood, softwood, granite, marble… you get the idea.

When it comes to carpeting, it’s a little different. Low pile and medium pile carpets are a go. This covers about 60 percent of the US population. The other 40 percent have no carpet, which the Roomba 671 can handle, or high pile and shag carpeting.

The latter two option are a struggle for virtually any robot cleaner. High piles and thick fibers get caught and tangled in the brush rolls and cause the robot to stall.

What about these brush rolls though? The 671 has two of them. One is a standard soft bristle brush roll that will sweep hard flooring and agitate carpet fibers to loosen and lift dirt, dust and debris from the carpeting.

The other brush roll is a little smaller and is designed to pick up smaller debris as well as keep the larger brush roll clear of tangles. As they rotate opposite of each other, they lift and separate debris, which prevents a lot of tangles.

Tangles will still happen, of course, as with any moving object picking things up off of your floor. Regular maintenance is required, which includes cleaning off the brush rolls and keeping the air ducting clean of debris and build-up.

Warranty = 1 year

I could go on for days and days about every time little feature. But here is what you need to know: it is a Roomba, so you get the name brand and long history of a reliable company. If anything goes wrong, you are covered by a 1-year warranty.

All other features are standard, though I will cover a few of them in a little more detail here.

The 671 has wi-fi and works with the iRobot Home app

A Roomba vacuum doing its job on carpet and hardwood.

The controls of the 671 are wireless. You have the local controls as almost every single other robot on the market has. This means you can push buttons on the robot itself to make it go clean, spot clean or return to the charging dock.

You don’t have a remote control, though. Instead, you will connect the robot to your home wireless network and download the Roomba mobile app. The app is arguably the best in the industry regarding ease of use, user-friendly and usable features.

With the app you can start, stop, pause, resume or cancel a cleaning cycle. You can send the robot back to the charging dock and you can create and edit schedules. Now you have the ability to have the robot clean when you are home, and if you forget, you can set it up while you are away from home.

You also get the use of voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. With your voice you can have the robot start, stop, pause and resume cleaning cycles as well as going to the charging station.

Navigation is simple but works well

The navigation isn’t fancy in the 671 and it doesn’t need to be. Roomba’s have some of the best sensors in the market. The drop sensors keep the robot from falling down stairs; the bump sensors use infrared and acoustic to sense walls, object and obstacles.

The Roomba 671 also comes equipped with dirt detection sensors that let it know the area isn’t quite clean and to keep going in that spot.

There aren’t any lasers or cameras for advanced navigation and the 671 won’t map your home. However, even though the cleaning pattern is sporadic, it is efficient and you don’t really need to have your home mapped in order for the robot to clean.

Roomba robots have containment options too. The virtual wall barriers prevent access to entire rooms, parts of rooms or objects within rooms. The only problem with these amazing little battery operated towers is that they don’t come with the Roomba 671.

A Roomba navigates away from the virtual wall barrier (left). Roomba's virtual wall barrier itself (right).

If you want to use the containment options, you will need to purchase them separately.

Specifications Chart

Now that we have some of the more in-depth features discussed let’s take a look at everything all at once in this beautiful handmade chart I created just for you.

Roomba 671
Dimensions 13.4×13.4×3.6 inches
Weight 7.94 pounds
Battery 3000mAh Lithium-ion
Automatic Recharge Yes
Automatic Resume No
Runtime Up to 90 minutes
Recharge Time 2 hours
Filter AeroForce Standard
Collection Bin Capacity 0.5L
Wireless Communications Yes
Bluetooth No
Remote Control No
Mobile App Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Local Controls Yes
Navigation iAdapt Navigation Technology
Mapping None
Drop Sensors Yes
Bump Sensors Yes
Dirt Detection Sensors Yes
Containment Virtual Wall Barrier (separate purchase)
Scheduling Yes
Full Bin Indicator No
Side Brushes 1
Floor Types All
Warranty 1 year
Price Check on Amazon

Alternative Options

Perhaps the Roomba 671 doesn’t tickle your fancy, or you are wondering if there are other, similar options to compare it to. Well, I have you covered. Have a look at these other options.

Roomba 620

The Roomba 620 is a very similar model compared to the Roomba 671. They are the same size, have the same collection bin capacity, same sensors, brush rolls and local controls.

The Roomba 620 does not have wireless communications though. You won’t be able to use the mobile app or voice commands. However, you can use the local controls and the clean is just as efficient.

The price tag is a lot smaller, too. If you are on a tighter budget and can live without a mobile app for controlling and making scheduled cleanings, the Roomba 620 is worth looking into.

See Roomba 620 on Amazon

 

A side-by-side comparison of Roomba 620 and Shark Ion 750.

Shark Ion 750

The Shark Ion 750 is a standard entry-level robot with a few surprises. Like the 671, it has wireless communications and can be used with a mobile app or voice commands through Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

The Shark Ion 750 has a similar battery that takes about an hour longer to recharge. Just like the 671, the Ion 750 will dock itself to recharge when the battery gets too low, and it will wait there until you tell it to go clean again.

You will get about an hour cleaning time and the robot will only work on hard flooring and low pile carpet. However, for the price, the abilities aren’t too bad. If you have mainly hard flooring and want a simple to operate machine, it is worth looking in to.

See Shark Ion 750 on Amazon

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Now it is time for my favorite portion of the review. You ask questions (over and over) and I take them and give them answers. If you still have questions after reading this article, feel free to use the comment section below.

Q. Do I have to use the wireless devices for control?

A. No. You don’t need voice commands or the Roomba mobile app to control the robot. The local controls do enough to get the job done. Through local controls, you can start and stop a cleaning cycle, return the robot to the charging station and have the 671 perform a spot clean in a specific area.

What you won’t be able to do is see the status of the robot, the battery level or create or edit schedules.

Q. I have three pets that shed a lot, will this robot help with that?

A. Absolutely! Shed hair gets trapped in the top layer of carpets and pushed (seemingly magically) into clumps along the baseboards and in corners of the home.

Roomba 600 series' aerovac bin.

The Roomba 671 is very efficient at cleaning all of these areas. During the first few uses, you will need to constantly empty the collection bin as the hair will fill it up fast. However, after four or five trips around your home, things should noticeably settle down.

You will notice the reduction in pet hair on your floors with daily use of this robot.

Q. I have in-floor heating and air, the vent covers are just laid into the vent holes. Will the Roomba be able to go over them, or avoid them altogether?

A. It really depends on your vent cover types. Some are raised and adjustable with little levers poking up; others are flush or sub-mounted, so they are level with the floor surface.

The Roomba will easily travel over any height difference of up to about half an inch (it’s actually slightly less than half an inch) so traversing them won’t be a problem in most cases.

However, if the vent flues are open, the drop sensors could detect it as a ledge and either stop where it is or try to go around them. Either way, though, there shouldn’t be much of an issue here.

In Conclusion

The Roomba 671 isn’t going to be a perfect vacuum for everyone. Those overly worried (even rightfully so) with allergens in their home or those that want a more efficient clean on high pile carpeting aren’t going to get a whole lot from this robot.

However, with the wireless communications, larger dust bin, self-cleaning brush rolls and easy to use controls, most of you will find that the Roomba 671 suits your purposes.

Sure, it’s not as fancy as some of the higher priced robots, it does have a lot of features that they do, and for a fraction of the cost.

In a Nutshell

The Roomba 671 is a decent machine and a great balance between cleaning power, efficiency and cost. While not a perfect fit for every home, it is a great fit for most homes.

What I Like

  • Easy to use mobile app and voice control commands
  • Efficient clean on most floor surface types.
  • Mid-tier price range makes it accessible to most.

What I Don’t Like

  • The Virtual Wall containment towers aren’t included.
  • The battery life could be a bit better.
  • There isn’t a full bin indicator so you have to check it constantly.

See Roomba 671 on Amazon

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